Leadership Profile Paper
This paper will profile Jeff Hawkins, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for PalmOne, Inc. examining qualities that Mr. Hawkins exhibits that make him influential leader. The paper will also examine details of the business strategy that make this man an exceptional innovator and his contribution to eBusiness technology.
Jeff Hawkins a graduate of Cornell Universityis best known as “the inventor who, in 1994, took blocks of mahogany and plywood into his garage and emerged with a prototype for the PalmPilot” (PC Magazine, 2000). Joining forces with friend Donna Dubinsky, Jeff “pulled off one of the most successful new-product launches in consumer electronics history, selling 400,000 units when they debuted in 1996. Now Palm Computing owns 80% of the handheld market” (PC Magazine, 2000).
Mr. Hawkins vision combined with his personal commitment and desire to constantly improve processes, efficiency, and develop new technologies has proved Jeff to be a leader in innovation. According to Mr Hawkins, "The future of computing is mobile," The PDA is going to be the way people access Internet data and integrate that data with everything else they need to keep track of. This will be most people's PC and Web terminal" (PC Magazine, 2000).
Jeff has nearly 20 years of technical expertise and is often credited as the designer who “reinvented the handheld market.” According to Jeff, "We didn't get enamored with the technology, we just kept simple goals low price, small enough to fit into a shirt pocket, faster to use than paper, and an effortless sync to the PC " ( PC Magazine, 2000). He co-founded Handspring in 1998, and created the Visor, “whose thrift and expandability forced other makers to be more competitive. Visor, is among the fastest–selling computer hardware products ever” (Willis, 2001).
When examining Jeff Hawkins business model during his time as CEO with handspring there was no definitive answer. Hawkins Business model seemed more like a question. “How do you make an exciting product that's pushing the envelope in some ways, but on the other hand is usable and accessible to a very broad populace?”(Barnett, 2000). Hawkins had a business model that relied on strategic partners to perform business tasks such as manufacturing and distribution.
Hawkins strategy is to generate ideas to promote increased efficiency and cost reduction while striving to predict future consumer needs. For example, the Visor “can morph into just about any handheld device you can imagine, from a pager to an MP3 player to a global-positioning satellite receiver, simply by replacing a small module on its back” (Time, Inc., 2005).